For those of you who may have missed my tweets and Facebook updates, I’ve been on vacation this week. We rented a condo on the Gulf of Mexico in my hometown (I’ve learned that staying with family sorta negates the restful feeling vacation gives you).
The drive down was pretty uneventful. Once we checked into the condo we had some issues. First of all, we came down so we could go to the Billy Bowlegs Pirate festival. We planned to check into the condo, leave my daughter there (she has sensory issues that make navigating big noisy crowds a nightmare) and walk across the bridge to the landing. But our condo wasn’t ready. I asked for a time, asked when it would be ready, and was promised a call when it was ready.
They never called. We missed the landing. We decided to just show up and see if the condo was ready. It was. It probably had been, and they forgot about us because they were busy.
We got to the condo, and several things were just wrong. The AC was broken. The cable modem wasn’t connected to anything and we didn’t see a splitter. The shower curtain had crusty brown stuff on it. The icemaker wouldn’t dispense ice. Almost every single dish has a chip in it.
I was trying hard to keep the vacation calm – but the AC and the internet were necessities. The AC because we are on the Gulf Coast in June. The internet because that is how we navigate things now – looking at menus, times, etc so that we have less stress from crowds, noise and all the things that can sabatoge our outings.
I called the front desk to tell them about these problems, and encountered some of the worst customer service I have ever had. I kept trying to explain that the cable modem was not hooked up, but the woman decided I was just too incredibly stupid to plug in an ethernet cable. I resisted the urge to tell her what I actually do for a living (create technical training for a product customers – like cable companies- use to manage these networks!!!) She finally informed me that I needed to call the cable company so they could walk me through plugging in the cable.
Yes, this made my happy vacation vibe slip for a moment. That’s when we decided to just jump on an unsecured wireless network from another unit in the condo. That worked fine until the cable company lost a core router and their service went down.
I never called about the other issues because of the complete unhelpfulness of the first person I talked to – the gatekeeper of customer service – was so rude. I had decided I’d deal with everything else and just blog about the experience later.
I called again Wednesday – 5 days into our trip – to complain again about the internet. The woman this time was very nice. So I told her about the icemaker, the dirty shower curtain, and the broken dishes. She sent people to fix things, and everyone who came out was very nice and competent. They replaced the wireless router.
And someone was listening!
Someone called the room, made sure everything got fixed, and took care of us for our troubles. This is the level of customer service that I had expected from the very beginning of our trip. Because the management company was listening on twitter, there was a way to get around the original gatekeeper of customer service who had soured me on dealing with anyone at the company. I also feel if I had mentioned the name of the resort in my first tweets, our problems would have been resolved earlier.
So instead of having to write an angry email about how ripped off I felt from staying in a poorly managed property, I get to remember the beautiful view and the great customer service we had from @ResortQuestNWFL. I have to say – the view and location were amazing. And aside from the encounter with the person on the phone, everyone has been incredibly friendly and helpful. If you want to experience the mix of Southern and Gulf Coast culture, and be on the most beautiful beaches in the world, you should think about staying at one of the Resort Quest properties on Okaloosa Island or in Destin.
I also got Brian to admit that Twitter is good, and that in itself is priceless!